Heavy legs is a condition characterized by a heavy feeling in the legs. In many cases, it may be accompanied by severe pain. This disorder can be caused by venous insufficiency, a condition in which the veins do not allow sufficient oxygen to return to the heart. It can also be caused by poor circulation or a sedentary lifestyle.
Many times, patients report feeling lower limb heaviness after they have been sitting for prolonged periods of time. This often makes it difficult for them to get up and move around normally. People who suffer from this disorder may feel as though their legs have weights attached to them.
The feeling of heaviness may sometimes be accompanied by pain. Even so, not all patients with heavy legs experience this symptom. When pain is present, it can be in one or both legs, but is normally felt in both limbs simultaneously.
This condition can be caused by circulatory disorders. One in particular is venous insufficiency. People who suffer from this condition have trouble with their veins moving oxygen back to the heart as blood is pumping through. Those who sit for prolonged periods of time or do not exercise often may also be prone to this illness.
People with heavy legs may also have cold feet. This is because poor circulation to the lower extremities keeps blood from moving freely through them. Massage is usually recommended for patients who have this side effect.
This disease can be difficult to identify because there are no tests which can adequately measure the amount of pressure felt in the legs. For this reason, doctors must often rely on a person's testimony when making a diagnosis. Many physicians are skeptical about this disorder and brand their patients as having hypochondriasis, which means they over-exaggerate feelings of being sick.
The prime treatment for heavy legs is elevating the lower extremities while sleeping or sitting for extended periods. Other people believe light exercise to be effective. Drinking hot tea, wearing support stockings, and massage are also ways of dealing with this condition.
Heavy legs can be a sign of a more serious illness, as it is typically caused by circulatory disorders. People who notice feelings of heaviness or pain in the lower extremities might want to consider scheduling a physical exam to rule out heart disease. Doing so could help them receive treatment quickly, which can improve their health and overall quality of life as well.